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Star Wars, and thoughts on internal wars.

2017 January 16

Star Wars! (Need I say more?!) Our family loves sci-fi so anything with aliens, the future or time travel goes over big!

I’m always in need of a fun idea for Father’s Day. So I decided to make him a throw pillow. Strange gift, maybe… and Father’s Day you say? Yup, you guessed it – I’m not really, really early – I’m really, really late with this one!

Last year I downloaded this Darth Vader paper-pieced pattern from Quiet Play’s free downloads and proceeded to make it. I love paper-piecing, it’s super fun and rewarding to be so precise! I hit a roadblock, though when it was time to quilt the pillow.

Turns out I’m super afraid to mess up my carefully pieced block! Thoughts of unpicking a quilted design and even thoughts of a more experienced quilter thinking I’d done it wrong (argh) ran around in my brain for… oh… about 5 months!

Yup, I put myself through…

The guilt of not finishing my husband’s gift… the fear of worrying about ruining my hard work… and, worst of all, being afraid I’d be seen as ruining my project or a “bad” sewer.

…and I thought all of this stuff for 5 months! Just thinking about the wrinkles it probably earned me is maddening.

I’m writing this because I don’t want to do it anymore… and maybe it is something someone else is dealing with? Especially someone that tend towards attempted perfection and are in general, not so easy-going. (Ooh, Ooh… *raises hand* Me! Me!)

and… I’m super hoping I’m not alone in this! Please tell me I’m not alone!

Now, there is an upside – I worry so much about what to fabric to cut into and how each seam will go that I rarely make major mistakes. (Bonus!) But I don’t think it’s healthy, and it causes me so much stress sometimes I don’t sew at all. Which is definitely not what I would like to be doing. Instead, I’d love to be churning out lovely projects by the dozens!

As it’s still January, I’m hoping to take a new look at my unfinished projects this year. Proceed with less caution… but still be careful. Not be so afraid to do what I think is fun and exciting, without worrying about how it is accepted. Then, if I can finish my projects earlier, the guilt of being “late” will go away too!

I really want to apply this to is my Lil’ Red quilt top. I’ve been SUPER afraid to quilt it for months now, despite the fact that it has been finished and even backed and basted for about 2 months. Hopefully, I can try not worry if the quilting is fancy or complicated and just finish the thing! I think I may just do some in the ditch quilting and maybe some echo quilting to fill it in a bit more.

Wow… tangent much? I believe we were talking about a Star Wars pillow here?! (Oops!)

I actually finished the pillow at my last Sewcial, having friends around while you make decisions is super helpful! The quilting hopefully represents the moving stars at the beginning of each movie. The finished pillow back is flannel, and I put a simple envelope backing on it.

The flannel is left over from lining the hood of an unblogged Finlayson I made my husband.  (Side note: It’s pretty funny that Darth Vader is floating with no body! I should likely have put the block at the bottom of the pillow instead of the center. But I can live with that!)

Any Regrets? Probably only that I beat myself up for so long before finishing the pillow. (And the 17 other unfinished projects I’ve got going…) But, since it’s not going to happen anymore. (*she said hopefully*) I can let that one go now…

Here’s to a super productive year ahead! 

P.S. It needs to be noted that I have never had another sewer say anything negative about my projects. In general, the community is amazing and fantastic and so supportive. No idea why I worry?!

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. Paula permalink
    January 16, 2017

    Hon! raising my hand here! can’t you see me??? Meeeee, who strives for perfection ?!.
    And it leads me sometimes, to months without sewing AT ALL. Too chicken to not cut to perfection, to not achieve the 1/4″ seams to perfection, and last to ruin my hard work with not perfect quilting…WTF*?????. Trying my best now, along the new year. Lots to work on, but will eventually get there. We’re on the same boat. I can totally relate.
    Feel free to vent, I totally get you.

    • January 20, 2017

      Oh my goodness, yes Paula! Thank you!!!! Maybe we can work on it together :)

  2. Peggy permalink
    January 17, 2017

    It looks great and I’m sure your husband will love it – it is much more special because you made it for him, instead of buying it at the store! We are our own worst critics but it is tough to let go. I still find myself ready to blurt out, “see this mistake I made” when showing quilts at the guild, but am trying to just keep my mouth shut and enjoy.

    • January 20, 2017

      Argh “Own Worst Critic” is right Peggy! Thank you for the good reminder to not point out the mistakes. It really is so easy to sabotage our own hard work!

  3. Andrea M permalink
    January 17, 2017

    The pillow is awesome! I can definitely relate…. Without realizing it at first, I have taken a very similar approach starting this year to just get WIPs completed (regardless of why they have been sitting around for months….or years!). It’s not just to clean out the piles of stuff, but just to complete the projects, and toss to the wind the insane perfection I think I *should* be attaining. Just because one project looked “perfect” and the next one had that one spot where the stitches are driving me nuts to look at doesn’t mean it’s any less good. No one it perfect, and if something does happen to turn out that way, then hurray, start another one! We do this because we enjoy it right? Not to be perfect. :) Keep up your excellent work!!

    • January 20, 2017

      Good call on the WIP’s Andrea. I’m excited to work on finishing a ton of mine as well! Good call “We do this because we enjoy it!” YES! Thank you!

  4. Catherine permalink
    January 17, 2017

    hand raised here too! My new year’s resolution … finish those five quilt tops hanging on the railing upstairs. These are not show pieces. These are going to friends and family who don’t care if I have practiced FMQ on them or if some of the seams don’t match. They don’t even look at the stitching. We aim for perfection and never finish anything and yes — add to our wrinkles :( . Let’s have fun sewing and stop stressing! Love the pillow!

    • January 20, 2017

      Thanks so much Catherine! You can do it! You’re right, family and friends won’t even notice. That is such a good thing to remember.

  5. Karen McCleary permalink
    January 17, 2017

    Yup, been there, done that – from the fear of making a mistake and ruining the piece, to pointing out the mistakes and not simply accepting the compliments made about my piece….
    A trick that works for me when I’m not sure how I want the quilting to go – roughly mark the main design of what you want to quilt – in your case, the Darth Vader ‘face’ onto a sheet of tracing paper. Then start to draw designs that you think you might like – if you don’t like the first couple, no harm, no foul. Just grab another piece of tracing paper and try another design. Soon enough you’ll have one you like and can then move to quilting the actual piece. This saves the fear of not liking the design and having to rip out the stitches and it gives you practice finding your ‘favorite’ quilting designs….. And most of all, remember to relax and breath while quilting……

    • January 20, 2017

      Thank you Karen! I love your tracing paper idea! I will definitely try that. Makes it a lot less nerve wracking :)

  6. January 17, 2017

    The pillow realy turned out great. An other job well done! ;)
    I do recognize a lot in your story. It’s (partly) the perfectionism about sewing and taking (perfect) pictures that blocked me for sewing and / or blogging lately. Ok, I didn’t have mutch time eigher, but if I would be a little less perfectionist, I would make it myself so much easier. We are also entitled to make mistakes, aren’t we? ;)

    • January 20, 2017

      Thank you Mirjam! Ooof. Yes – having time to take perfect photos is not possible with kids too… We are totally entitled to make mistakes! Gotta remember that one :)

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